Reaction to JPM Chase earnings today small red flag for continued earnings season rally

The reaction to Wells Fargo (WFC) earnings released before the open this morning was perfectly fitting. The bank lagged its peers again on key metrics (revenue fell 3.1% year over year and earnings per share were down 9% as average loans fell 1%) and the stock was down 1.80% as of noon New York time.

The response to Citigroup (C) earnings makes sense on the fundamentals too. The bank beat analyst earnings estimates by 7 cents a share but year over year revenue growth was a lackluster 2% (down 1% year over year in the core North American business) and the earnings beat was a result of a lower tax rate than expected. As of noon New York time, the shares were down 1.84%.

It’s the report by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) that, to me, raises a red flag (of the small variety) for the continuation of the earnings season rally over the next two weeks when big tech companies report.

The bank beat on both earnings per share and on revenue. (Revenue grew 9.1% year over year) Average core loans climbed by 7% year over year. And net income income gains 9%. Provision for credit losses in the consumer banking segment fell 20.5%.
Firmwide average core loans rose 7.0% year/year.

That’s all very, very solid performance. But yet the shares were up just 0.22% as of noon New York time.

One tip off is that CEO Jamie Dimon said while he hadn’t yet seen any evidence that the trade war had weighed on JPMorgan Chase’s business, it was definitely a concern for the second half of the year. That’s not a big call to sell but it is a suggestion that the next couple of quarters carry more uncertainty than this quarter saw.

And I think that comment was enough to take some of the bounce out of JPMorgan Chase shares this morning.

Wonder how the market will react to a company that actually cuts guidance for the second half of 2018? Especially if ahead of earnings Wall Street analysts have been pushing up their target prices as they have in the last two days for Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) I think we’ll find out next week.